Mozart chocolate balls are these old school chocolates from Vienna that used to be the ultimate luxury when I was growing up. I remember how friends and family would often buy them if they visited Austria or southern Germany, and they were quite expensive, almost like good quality Belgian chocolates these days. You can still get them of course, but as with many other chocolate brands, the quality has unfortunately gone downhill, often leaving you with a overly sweet product with way too much sugar and hardly any real almonds in the marzipan or hazelnuts in the nougat.
The good news is, it is very very easy to make your own delicious Mozart chocolate balls, that is with real, good quality marzipan and ditto hazelnut nougat. Just make sure to put a little extra love and attention into tempering the dark chocolate for covering the balls. But if you follow the instructions below, you’ll be on the right track for success.
You might ask, why not just buy ready made filled chocolates at the store that look amazing? Well, the thing is, sometimes they look great, but they taste like blah… If you make them yourself though, you know the quality of the ingredients better, and it will make your family and friends feel really special that you took the time to make something beautiful and delicious for them.
Inspired and partly taught by my grandmother, I used to make a lot of chocolates for Christmas together with my sister. We would have heaps of marzipan and hazelnut nougat, tons of different sprinkles for decorations and would knock ourselves out and be creative making the most yummy filled chocolate treats to be devoured during the Christmas holidays. It was so much fun, so creative and I miss having a whole day for doing something like that. If you have the time, make it a day project and include the kids. But if you are pressed for time, yet still want to make your own homemade chocolates, these Mozart chocolates will only take you a couple of hours max to make. So let’s get started!
Mozart chocolate balls (makes 28)
8.8 oz (250 g) marzipan
5.3 oz (150 g) hazelnut nougat
5.3 oz (150 g) good quality dark chocolate
Edible gold or silver dust
1. Start by cutting the marzipan and nougat into 28 evenly sized pieces. One at a time, squeeze each marzipan piece flat into a little pancake. Then place a piece of nougat in the middle. Roll together into a little ball, making sure that the marzipan covers the nougat as much as possible. Place the balls on a tray or plate. When all the balls are done, put them in the fridge until the melted chocolate is ready.
2. Now it’s time to prepare the tempered chocolate.
How to temper dark chocolate:
Step 1: Pour about 1/4 gallon (1 liter) water into a pot and bring to a boil. Chop the dark chocolate coarsely on a chopping board.
Step 2: As soon as the water starts boiling, remove it from the heat. Now place a glass or ceramic bowl over the pot of water. Make sure that the edges of the pot are covered by the bowl. This way you prevent water steam from seeping into the chocolate and ruining it. (If you use a metal bowl it will be harder to control the heat. A metal bowl will heat up faster than a glass or ceramic one).
Step 3: Pour about 2/3 of the chopped chocolate into the bowl and immediately start stirring it with a spatula. It will take about 10 minutes for it to melt, while you keep stirring. Ideally it should reach a temperature of no more than 104-113 F (40-45 C) before you move to the next step. It’s a good idea to use a thermometer along the way. If you see the temperature rising too fast, remove the bowl from the pot.
Step 4: If you haven’t already done so, remove the bowl from the pot. Then add the last 1/3 of the chocolate. Keep stirring and monitor the temperature, which should reach a mark of about 88-90 F (31-32 C). This is the ideal working temperature for dark chocolate.
Step 5: Now you can begin covering each little ball. I find the easiest way to do so is by dropping the balls into the chocolate and then immediately scooping them up using a fork. Let them drip off excess chocolate for a few seconds. Then place them on a board covered with baking or wax paper and sprinkle with gold or silver dust. It will take about 2-3 hours for the chocolate to harden. Store the chocolates in a box or tin in a cool place, but not in the fridge.
Here a some other nice treats to make for the holidays: